I author a rail blog http://www.oil-electric.com and am writing an article on the
NH EP5 mercury arc rectifiers. Ten were built, 10 passed through to Penn Central,
but the trail goes cold there. How many actually ran under CONRAIL? And
what was their final fate. Photos with CONRAIL scheme would be helpful
I model Conrail electric operations, and the EP5s are one of my favorites (if short lived). As the thread has said, only two EP5s survived into conrail, 4973 and 4977. They were NEVER repainted, and kept all their Penn Central markings all the way to the scrapper.
Both were retired within a 9 months of conrail. The 4973 was retired in October 1976, followed by 4977 in January, 1977. They were all scrapped in 1979 by Naprano in Newark NJ, i think.
I have photographs of the units on the road, but mostly the "Harrisburg" engine, 4977 (it was apparently assigned to Harrisburg, hence the label under its roadnumber). I have atleast one photo of 4977 behind two GG1s at Metuchen, NJ. It Appears that these units really did see service before retirement, pulling freights between Harrisburg and northern New Jersey, as well as 4973, which was running on the old PRR Jamesburg branch (the same line under the PRR catenary poles at Exit 8A on the NJ turnpike).
There were several plans for the E40 that never passed on. Penn Central had plans to rebuild the E40s into TRUE freight units. As they stood, the E40s were very much the same motors they were, except without a pantograph or DC power equipment. However, the majority of the stored units were so damaged by fire and Penn Central didn't have the money, so the rebuild never happened.
The E40s were almost saved a second time, after Conrail retired the existing E40s. the LIRR thought about purchasing a pair to rescue trains trapped in tunnels along it's route, but the EP5's tendency to overheat (in one case, 4971 created a hazardous fire) soured them to the idea. Though the LIRR bid on the units, the scrapping company had the highest bid, and so they were all cut up.
Elite Juice Jack Modeler.